The nurse's role in the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers comprise a frequent complication of diabetic patients, as they appear in 3–8% of the patients. Approximately 15% of the 150 million diabetic patients universally will develop a foot ulcer at some point during their life. Despite the fact that a large percent of patients with an ulcer will heal, a percentage of 15% will develop a chronic ulcer. Prevention of a diabetic foot ulcer may reduce the number of amputations, thus assisting in reduction of patient hospitalization cost, along with improvement of long-term living conditions. This article reviews the nurse’s role as a member of a multidisciplinary team, along with his/her role in the prevention of a new lesion, and re-appearance of an old ulcer. A basic requirement for the patients in order to understand the causes of a diabetic foot ulcer and to immediately recognize the symptoms and risk factors is high quality collaboration between the patient and the nurse and adequate guidance. A diabetic foot ulcer may require weeks or months to heal, with permanent danger of infection, gangrene, or amputation. The prevention of a diabetic foot ulcer aims mainly to the early diagnosis and treatment of the responsible factors. An important role of the nurse is to build a trusting bond between her and the patient; hence not only the patient’s, but the family’s education in caring for the limbs as well will contribute to the prevention of an ulcer and its complications.

Category: Volume 47, N 1
Hits: 466 Hits
Created Date: 15-03-2008
Authors: Angela-Beth Terzi